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Author jshideler

Rescuing Knowledge from Ivory Towers

We had an email discussion in the office the other day about the term “Requirements Engineering” and I began thinking about most of the research I have read on the subject over the past 6-8 months. The vast majority of RE research is not being used by anyone in the …

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Problems May Be Your Problem

Requirements are often touted as the foundation of a good software project. I agree that without good requirements, you will find it very difficult to build the right solution. What, then, is the foundation for the requirements? A clear problem statement is, in many cases, just as important as the …

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Time is Money

I’ve recently had many opportunities to think about software adoption and the many factors that affect it, from both the product management side and the end-user side.In all cases, the most important thing to keep in mind when considering adoption of a new piece of software is that time is …

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Requirements for Complex Systems

I feel very strongly that the more complex your business process is, the more well-defined your requirements must be. The analysis of these requirements also becomes more and more important and less and less possible by the SMEs and end-users. The reason for this has to do with the definition …

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Who’s the Designer? It Depends.

Requirements are constraints on the creativity of creative people. That sounds harsh, but it is true. Business owners and those that finance software projects don’t want just any system built – they want their system built. This means they have some preconceived notion on what the system has to do …

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Requirements Model 4 – The Data Dictionary

Data dictionaries have been around for quite a long time. I have a book on analysis that was written in 1979 that covers them in great detail. Unfortunately, most of the techniques in that text focus on how to collate and manage the data rather than what data to include. …

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Requirements Model 3 – Click-Action-Response Tables

My latest requirements model discussion centers around a tool that we developed at Seilevel for a very large and complicated web-based application a few years ago. These tables can be a real life saver when used on the right kind of project. A click-action-response table can be intimidating at first …

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Software Requirements Model 2 – The Decision Tree

This is post number two in my continuing series of requirements model discussions. You can view my first post here. This time around, I’d like to discuss decision tree diagrams. These simple flowcharts can make your life much easier when writing a software requirements document. A decision tree diagram really …

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Requirements Model 1 – The State Table

As Anthony C. said in an earlier blog post, requirements models are a great way to discover missing requirements in your software system. Without a good model, you have no way to be sure that you captured every requirement and seeing the missing requirements becomes nigh impossible. One of my …

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